This study examined the correlation between the percentage of college graduate parents of eight-grade students and NAEP reading and math scores for fifty states for 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, and 2011. For reading, the five correlations were .74, .74, .74, .72, and .77. For math, the five correlations were .74, .70, .70, .74, and .72. Similar analyses were conducted with large city (TUDA) districts. The evidence of the past eight years supports the conclusion that the state NAEP Reading and Math scores change very little year to year. Thus, state rankings have changed very little over the past eight years. The factors which in large part determined a given state's ranking in 2003 determined the rankings in 2011. This research identifies one highly reliable variable which partially explains the state rankings, namely, the percentage of eighth-grade students who have at least one parent with a college degree. Educational implications of these findings are discussed.
Smith, Stuart E. and Narrett, Carla M., "Parental Education Level Predicts Differences Between High and Low Performing States" (2013). NERA Conference Proceedings 2013. 9.